Who doesn’t love a TV show that will have you glued to the screen every week (…or an entire weekend)? We obviously have to give kudos to addictive plotlines, eye-catching costumes and gorgeous settings, but we’d be lying if it wasn’t the relationships that really pulled us in and captivated our attention. Whether you’re still debating Ross and Rachel’s “on a break” fiasco or can’t stop talking about Patrick serenading David with his rendition of “Simply the Best,” here are 55 of the best TV couples that stand the test of time.
The 55 Best TV Couples of All Time, Including ‘Stranger Things’, ‘The Office’ & More
1. David & Patrick, Schitt’s Creek
Schitt’s Creek has some of the funniest characters of all time, but it’s David and Patrick’s relationship that really ropes viewers in. “It made me the happiest to watch such a healthy relationship play out over the course of the show. No major plot twist that broke them up! Also, such chemistry and hilarity! Dream couple,” says Rachel Bowie, PureWow special projects director.
2. Lucy & Ricky, I Love Lucy
For as much as their push-and-pull relationship still makes us laugh every time Ricky comes home from work early to catch Lucy and Ethel mid-scheme, the comedic pair were also one of the first multi-ethnic couples on television—no small feat, considering this was the ’50s.
4. Cory & Topanga, Boy Meets World
We really watched Cory and Topanga grow up and share so many firsts together. The smart girl and the class clown managed to be the childhood TV couple we strived to be like. We even got to continue to see their love grow in the spin-off Girls Meets World.
5. Marshall & Lily, How I Met Your Mother
Forget Ted and focus on his best friends instead. Lilypad and Marshmallow (possibly the cutest nicknames) were the HIMYM couple that made us laugh, smile and cry (sometimes at the exact same time). “They're just...cute and funny and sweet, a feel-good couple. Sometimes that's just what you want to see,” says Cristina Gutierrez, PureWow senior editor.
6. Randall & Beth, This Is Us
Randall and Beth just might be the best couple on This Is Us (sorry, Jack and Rebecca). As the show jumps around timelines, we see so many moments in the couple’s life—the highs and the lows. From their high-stake life talks to the way they interact with their daughters (seriously, the parent jokes are priceless), the NBC drama kindly let us put down the tissues when they were on screen.
7. Jim & Pam, The Office
The will-they-won’t-they of the 21st century. Jim and Pam are the definition of tension. There’s not really a word in the English dictionary for how awkward it is every time Roy shows up as the scruffy paper salesman is mid- adorable inside joke with his secretary crush.
8. Luke & Lorelai, Gilmore Girls
Team Dean, Team Logan or Team Jess? (If you watch, you get it.) But it's Luke and Lorelai’s romance that we held onto the whole time. When you put upbeat Lorelai and cynical Luke together, the polar opposite personalities just spark.
9. Seth & Summer, The O.C.
“The geek and popular girl pairing and the witty banter…teen television at its prime,” says Katherine Gillen, PureWow food editor. Nerdy, awkward guy crushing on the popular girl. Popular girl doesn’t give him the time of day until she sees him with someone else. It’s the on-and-off relationship we kept returning to because let’s face it, they were meant to be together from the start.
10. Phil & Vivian, The Fresh Prince of Bel-air
This ’90s show might be about Will Smith’s character, but Phil and Vivian are at the core of the story. The TV parents teach viewers about everything from class, race and other real world problems while showcasing their love in every episode.
11. Kurt & Blaine, Glee
We’ll never hear “Teenage Dream” by Katy Perry the same again. The two characters made history with their first kiss, showing the world young love isn’t always straight. And c’mon, we’re still listening to their duets today.
12. Dre & Rainbow, Black-ish
Black-ish isn’t possible without the chemistry of Dre and Rainbow. The way they challenge each other and tackle issues (gender, race, politics, etc) together (while showing their children what a healthy Black relationship should be) makes this duo worth admiring.
13. Jess & Nick, New Girl
Let’s be honest, the sexual tension between these two goes unmatched. The on-and-off relationship left us on an emotional rollercoaster that Kara Cuzzone, assistant commerce editor couldn’t get off. “I found myself rooting for them to be together throughout the series and (spoiler alert) seeing them end up together was so satisfying.”
14. Meredith & Derek, Grey’s Anatomy
No one expects a one-night stand to turn into the love of your life, but here we are. We can spend hours highlighting our favorite Meredith and Derek moments (remember when he proposed with a Post-It note?!). And yes, we’re still crying over that episode.
17. Blair & Chuck, Gossip Girl
OK, some people will say Serena and Dan, but it’s really Blair and Chuck that had us tuning in. “Sure, their relationship was rocky but they always loved each other through all the insane and ridiculous drama,” says Rachel Gulmi, operations director.
18. Claire & Jamie, Outlander
A World War II nurse falling in love with a 18th-century Scottish highlander? Why not. We only wish our history books had stories as passionate and dramatic as this TV duo. The steamy chemistry helps us understand why viewers are so invested in the show.
19. Stef & Lena, The Fosters
A ten-year relationship is bound to have a complex story behind it. Thankfully, The Fosters led viewers through Stef and Lena’s happiness (like raising five adoptive children and finally getting married) and toughest moments (like job losses, a cancer diagnosis and almost losing their home) to see how the pair has truly grown throughout the seasons.
21. Frank & Estelle, Seinfeld
When Frank and Estelle are in the shot, there’s never a dull moment. “I mean, it was literally impossible not to laugh at them screaming at each other (and at George) every time they popped up on screen,” says Phil Mutz, VP of news and entertainment.
22. Mitch & Cam, Modern Family
Polar opposites really do work together. Take Cam, an extrovert who turns every situation into a dramatic moment and Mitch, an introvert who prefers to play by the rules. But one thing they have in common (other than loving each other immensely) is putting their family first.
23. Chidi & Eleanor, The Good Place
Look up soulmates in the dictionary and you’ll see these two (even if there’s no such thing in the world of The Good Place). Still, Chidi and Eleanor are somehow consistently drawn to each other regardless of how many times they get their memories rebooted.
24. Mindy & Danny, The Mindy Project
From frenemies to budding love interests, Mindy and Danny are really different. Their personalities were constantly butting heads (hence being the on-and-off couple you always want to get back together). Thankfully, their bickering only fuels the fire.
25. Dwayne & Whitley, A Different World
When you start watching A Different World, you don’t think Whitley would go for Dwayne. But throughout the series, their chemistry is undeniable and Whitley eventually sheds her impossible standards. “They challenged each other to confront and deal with their weaknesses which made them so much stronger and more mature (both individually and as a couple),” says Nakeisha Campbell, assistant news and entertainment editor.
27. Carol & Mike Brady, The Brady Bunch
We can’t talk about The Brady Bunch without mentioning the pair who kept this big, blended family together. Yep, it’s our favorite TV parents who have the best advice for everything from dealing with puberty, bullying and Marsha, Marsha Marsha. It can’t be easy to manage a busy household, but Carol and Mike always find time for each other (with sweet gestures, surprise gifts and a whole lot of singing).
28. Willow & Tara, Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Yes, Angel and Buffy are a great couple, but Willow and Tara were the duo of the series. Viewers watched their friendship blossom into a romantic relationship. At the time, it was one of the first complex lesbian couple depictions on television.
29. Monica & Chandler, Friends
While other people were all over Ross and Rachel, some viewers were stanning this iconic ’90s couple. “They fully embrace one another’s oddities and weirdness, even when Monica thought Chandler got off on watching shark attack shows,” says Abby Hepworth, fashion editor.
33. Harriette & Carl, Family Matters
"No matter how many times Carl got into (comedic) trouble, Harriette was there to be the voice of reason—they were the perfect balance. And they still managed to keep the romance alive with Steve Urkel constantly popping over,” says Phil Mutz.
34. Louis & Jessica, Fresh Off the Boat
Jessica opposes assimilating into American culture while Louis is all for it. Despite their conflicting ideals, the pair is always in sync. They bring out the best in each other and add that supportive nature into their children.
35. Paul & Jamie, Mad About You
In Mad About You, we got a glimpse at life after saying “I do.” The newlyweds—Paul and Jamie—show us what it’s like starting a new chapter and figuring out married life (including overbearing mothers-in-law and New York City in the ’90s). And we can't forget about the real star of the show, their little dog Murray that made their lives a little more interesting.
36. Ian & Mickey, Shameless
OK, it might not be perfect, but what relationship is? Mickey might be the bad boy, but Ian had his fair share of breaking the rules (have you seen the Gallagher family?). Gallavich is definitely not your Disney love story, so expect twists and turns with this love affair.
37. Jane & Rafael, Jane the Virgin
From the beginning, we were invested in Jane and Rafael’s…uh…connection (aka Jane’s accidental artificially insemination of Rafael’s baby). “They were so supportive of each other's dreams...always. No matter the obstacle (damn you, Sin Rostro!), they always came back to: write the book! Follow your passion! You can have love and career aspirations at the same time. Love that,” says Rachel Bowie.
39. Pacey & Joey, Dawson’s Creek
It’s even more fulfilling when you find the one and they happen to be your best friend. Sure, Pacey and Joey’s relationship starts out strictly platonic, but the on-and-off pair always find their way back to each other. (Dawson who?)
40. Glenn & Maggie, The Walking Dead
Imagine surviving a zombie apocalypse and finding love. Glenn and Maggie fell for each other while killing walkers and dealing with a manipulative guy who calls himself the Governor. The pair’s story is one for the books. (We’re still reaching for the tissue box.)
42. Oliver & Connor, How to Get Away With Murder
Oliver and Connor have seen a lot and yet manage to never steer away from their strong connection. They keep each other grounded and find normalcy through the crimes, murders and secrets surrounding Annalise Keating and the other law students.
43. George & Louise, The Jeffersons
The Jeffersons were such a hit on All in the Family that they got their very own spin-off series, and we’re not surprised. When you put hot-headed George and good-natured Louise together, you’re bound to see them level each other out. Their relationship (and the show overall) broke barriers on showcasing positive Black love on television.
46. Yorkie & Kelly, Black Mirror
The Netflix hit anthology show manages to make us fall in love with Yorkie and Kelly in under an hour. The “San Junipero” episode brings these two characters together in a simulated reality with a creative plotline that will make their story all the more compelling. And, in Black Mirror fashion, it bridges the pros and cons of technology with a love story we can’t get out of our heads.
47. Poussey & Soso, The Orange Is the New Black
There were plenty of relationships on the Netflix series, but the Poussey and Soso relationship will always be on the top. Fans didn’t expect them to be an item, but their common struggles (with depression and addiction) brings the pair even closer together. We would definitely watch season three and four just to see the chemistry grow all over again.
48. Angel & Lil Papi, Pose
What started out as strictly platonic turns into the best relationship on the FX drama. Lil Papi uplifts Angel and is the person she can rely on when things get rough.
50. Ross & Rachel, Friends
It would be a disservice if we didn’t also include Ross and Rachel. Yeah, we’re head over heels for Chandler and Monica, but how can we forget, “We were on a break!”? Was their relationship perfect? By no means. But it was certainly made for TV.
53. Hopper & Joyce, Stranger Things
They had a rocky start, but boy, was it fascinating to see their relationship shift. Their friendship is the definition of complicated, thanks to their stubbornness and the evil threats lurking in Hawkins. Even so, they continue to prove that they'd do anything to protect one another.
54. Barry & Iris, The Flash
We can never resist a childhood-friends-turned-lovers story, but Iris and Barry's relationship is one for the history books. If they can survive dozens of villainous metahumans and the destruction of the multiverse, then it's fair to say that they can survive anything.